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Jeans–Shortening back inseam only?

becksnyc | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello All,

I sent this letter to the editors.  If anyone cares to comment on what shortening the back inseam alone accomplishes (suggested in the Jeans that Fit article), I’d like to hear about it. 

“Sandra Betzina’s article, “Everyone Can Have Jeans That Fit” (March 2004) is a real winner! So much valuable information packed into just a few pages.

I agree with shortening the back crotch extension for a flat seat, but I would like to comment on the instructions for altering for a “Very flat seat” on page 36. When a seat is very flat, the crux of the fitting problem often lies, not just in a dearth of derriere, but in a backward pelvic tilt. Shortening the back inseam as suggested not only causes easing problems when sewing it to the front inseam, it does not address the possible root of the fitting problem. When the pelvic cradle tilts back, less fabric length is required in the back (and at times more in the front). The solution? Shorten the center back (pattern) by folding out the excess back crotch length horizontally, between the waist and back crotch curve, tapering to nothing at the side seams. The back crotch curve may then need to be lowered . (On RTW, the back crotch length can be shortened from the waist, although the alteration may be limited by pocket placement or yoke length.)

The photo on page 52 of your article, “Pants for Every Body” (Aug/Sep 1994) shows a model with a backward pelvic tilt. The “Pants that fit well” (lower right) still sag at the back, perhaps not only because her heels accentuate the tilt, but because the slacks were altered for crotch width but not for pelvic tilt.

Fitting slacks is complex, but analyzing bone structure often gives clues to solving fitting problems. An excellent book on this subject is, “Fitting & Pattern Alteration, A Multi-Method Approach”, by Liechty, Pottberg and Rasband. It’s a hard read, but the diagrams are fantastic.”

Anyone else follow what I am saying?






  1. edgy | | #1


    You're right about the pelvic tilt, and it's something that models learn to do. But for most of us over 40 (ahem!), it's just gravity that produces the flat bum!!!



    1. becksnyc | | #2

      Grinning, too.  Everything seems to tilt the wrong way after 40...

      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        No kidding.....


      2. rjf | | #4

        After 60, it not only tilts but wobbles to and fro.      rjf

  2. SewNancy | | #5

    I know exactily what you are saying  as I have the same problem.  I solve it by widening the back from about 3" above the knee to the hem.   I also have that bookand it is a very good reference. 


    1. becksnyc | | #6

      The widening the back leg, is that so that the slacks don't catch on the back of the calf?  A neat idea.


      1. SewNancy | | #7

        Yes, it really does work.  There are limits, but its worth a try.


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